The Need for Pharmaceutical Taste-Masking and Why it Matters

Medication Non-Adherence is one of the biggest challenges that doctors and researchers face in the modern medical world.

It is especially high in chronic patients, leading to an increase in emergency visits to the hospital. WHO identified that there are five types of factors that affect drug non-adherence:

  • Therapy Related
  • Patient Related
  • Socio-economic Related
  • Healthcare Related
  • System Related

Among the fore mentioned factors, patients’ reluctance to take drugs (patient-related factors) have always been the biggest reason for medication non-adherence. In fact, according to a study, 70% of all hospital admissions are due to drug/medication non-adherence and is causing over 125,000 avoidable deaths. In addition to that, over $100 billion is lost to health-care, which is again preventable.

‘Drugs don’t work if people don’t take them’ Surgeon General C Everett Koop said when he spoke at a symposium on Improving Medication Compliance. All the issues caused due to non-adherence can be completely eliminated by using technology that improves drug delivery.

One such technology is taste-masking which has the potential to change the perception of a patient when it comes to drug intake.

Changing the Bitter to Better

Taste-masking is among the most viable solution for non-adherence of orally-administered drugs. The active drug ingredient is masked by flavored polymers to eliminate the bitter taste without affecting the chemical composition. It not only enhances the taste of the medicine but improves its overall bioavailability and eliminates its strange texture.

Improving drug adherence in patients is one of the biggest and most consistent concerns in the pharmaceutical industry as it depends on human behavior which changes with time. Pharmaceutical companies are on a constant lookout for better ways of addressing this challenge in order to manufacture drugs that have a mass appeal.

Here’s how taste-masking improves the quality of the drug:

  • It enhances clinical efficacies to improve the overall use of the drug
  • It increases the release time
  • It improves the bio-availability of the drug  

An additional advantage of taste masking is that it makes the drug become popular very quickly as it is innovative and patient-friendly, differentiating the drug from other similar drugs in the market. This gives a competitive advantage to pharmaceutical companies while providing an improved drug to the patients.

Advantages of Taste-Making to the Pharma Companies:

  • The cost for taste-masking a drug is very low
  • It has no effects on the bioavailability of the drug
  • The raw materials required for taste-masking is relatively less
  • It has fewer steps and thus easy to manufacture
  • Better taste gives pharmaceuticals a market advantage

It is essential to note that the administration of drugs can be made more accessible amongst all age-groups by leveraging taste-masking. Apart from giving a pharma company a competitive advantage, better-tasting drugs also improve the brand value of a company in the market.                    

About ZIM Laboratories

ZIM Laboratories Limited is an innovative drug delivery solution provider focusing on improving patient convenience and adherence to drug intake. It offers a range of technology-based drug delivery solutions and non-infringing proprietary manufacturing processes for the production and supply of innovative and differentiated generic pharmaceutical products to global customers.

ZIM Laboratories also provides its customers with a comprehensive range of value-added solid dosage differentiated generic products in semi-finished and finished categories/formulations including include granules, pellets, taste-masked powders, suspensions, tablets, capsules and it’s recently developed Oral Thin Films (OTF).


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